Sunday, September 26, 2010

Leaving Baranof Warm Springs

Leaving Baranof Warm Springs- headed north. Loved the hiking and of course the hot springs.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Unexpected Summer

We were sure summer had pasted us by while we waited and waited and waited for engine parts to arrive but we were wrong. We are enjoying an unexpected hot spell that is giving us sunburns and sailing winds. Perfect Timing!!!

September 9
Red Bluff Bay is perhaps the most spectacular combination of mountains, waterfalls, ice fields and brown bears. The view of the steely gray high peaks of Barnof Island is breathtaking. During our 3 day stay we sighted 28 brown bears (fishing, wrestling with each other, mom with cubs and big males.)Of course the pinks were running so it was a free for all.

September 13
From Red Bluff we headed to Kake, a Tlingit community of 497 and boasts Alaska's tallest totem pole (132.5 feet.) The community stretches along the waterfront of Kupreanof Island and each building has an unbelievable view of the mountains of Baranof Island. The marina is a 3 mile walk into the heart of town, which is the only location our cells phone would work from. Moose season opened the day we left.

September 15-17
Chapin Bay was our next destination on Admiralty Island. This quick hop from Kake provided whale watching and to our great surprise ice burgs!!! Here we have recuperated from the "Big City", fishing, (more halibut for dinner) exploring and more bear watching. I'm happy to report it has been nothing but hot sunny days since we arrived.
At some point we leave here and head to Barnof Warm Springs- natural hot springs.

September 18
This morning Jim decided to go on deck and enjoy his coffee in the unseasonably warm weather, with the sun beating down on deck he called for me to join him. Focusing on visual cues I immediately asked if I should bring my binos. When I reached his side, he simply said "listen", the whales were signing in Frederick Sound outside Chapin Bay, their voices echoed through the tall trees surrounding our anchorage. It was simply a treat, one that makes you stop to think about all we miss on a daily bases.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never A Dull Moment

The past week has been very eventful.
September 3, still in Thetis Bay, 5:45 am a ruckus outside awakens us and demands someone investigate. Jim sprang from our bunk and called for me to join him. On the beach was 4 wolves howling as they ran through hundreds of gulls who were very vocal about the intrusion. The wolves stayed on the beach for a good ten minutes giving us a great view of each of them.

Later that same day we headed off for a bay simply called the Rapids on the chart. It was a beautiful small enclosed bay with a stream at the end of it with many pinks attempting to go up stream. We walked along the beach and it was not long before black bear paw prints were spotted. There were of course many salmon in varying stages of spawning along with numerous carcasses on the shore and in the water.

Next up fishing, we headed out to a spot Jim thought would be good halibut fishing. With lots of encouragement I landed my first halibut 30 inches long and enough for 3 full meals.

September 4, another beautiful sunny day so we headed out again to Petrof Bay about 10 miles from our anchorage. On the way we passed what had to be at least 30 sea otters floating together, I waved and to our surprise some waved back or at least it sure looked like that- Go figure!!! Once inside Petrof we headed to the back stream where pinks were headed up stream and to our delight saw an xxlg black bear fishing. He slapped in the water, looking as if he wanted to step on a fish, then he bent over and grabbed one in his mouth. As he lumbered out of the water, another sm black bear came into the stream keeping a very watchful eye on the big guy. Some time later the big guy headed back for more fishing and the sm bear high tailed it back to the woods. We watched these two repeat the procedure many times.

September 6. Hiking around Thetis Bay gave us an opportunity to see thousands of pink salmon grouped together headed up stream. I've never before seen so many fish in one spot, it was if you could walk across the stream and only step on salmon. We found many wolf tracks, bear signs and various stages of salmon. If you wanted to view nature at it's best this place gives you everything you could image.

September 9, Anchor up and on to Red Bluff Bay. The sail to red Bluff was fantastic the wind perfect, the 2 glaciers and 11humpback whales gave us plenty to view, fluke and flipper slapping, breaching, we never get tired of seeing these magnificent creatures.

Red Bluff is located in the back of a 4 mile cut through steep mountains with many water falls sprinkled along the way. The water inside the cut is like a still lake. Once in the bay there is a large area of marsh, and the first thing we spotted was a grizzly bear fishing in the stream.

September 10, a full day of bear watching. It seemed every time we looked out we spotted another grizzly. We saw mammy and cubs, a big black with a silver saddle male plus many others. In all for the day we counted 13 sightings, I wonder how many we missed. I'm not going hiking here!!!

September 11, It is a stunningly beautiful day, the sun on the high mountain peak shows off the glistening snow while the grizzly's fish below the tree line. This place truly is a wonderland.